The Gripen technology demonstrator fighter (Gripen Demo) performed the first flight yesterday from Saab’s airfield in Linköping, Sweden. The aircraft was developed as a test bed evaluating and demonstrating future development of the Gripen. The first flight that lasted 30 minutes took place 30 days after the official rollout of the aircraft.
“We’re flying what in many aspects is a completely new aircraft a month after Roll-Out. This is quite unique and it shows Gripen’s opportunities for further development. It also shows our own ability to develop new, more efficient working methods.” said Lars-Erik Svedlund, Saab’s project manager for the Gripen demonstrator program. The aircraft has a new, more powerful engine derived from the F/A-18E/F, and new radar. Gripen will be able to carry heavier loads and has a longer range.